Siblings Ben and Julia Crowther found themselves in some unique company late last year, earning piano-based scholarships.
The brother and sister were two of six piano students chosen from across the country to receive the Caroline Conron and Marguerite Geiger National Piano Travel and Study Scholarship. The Scholarship consisted of an all-expenses paid trip to London for a weekend of learning, which involved a one day piano master class, a personal professional CD recording, and a solo performance at the Convocation and Awards Ceremony the following day.
Although Ben was unable to accept the scholarship due to university exams, Julia, in Grade 10 piano, gained much benefit from this year’s master class clinician, Peter Longworth. A Canadian pianist who has performed in cities world-wide, Longworth is a faculty member of the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, and has established himself as one of the most sought-after performers of his generation.
During the Convocation and Awards Ceremony, Ben was awarded the Medal for Excellence for Theory 7 (B) and the Medal for Excellence for History 7, which he won in recognition of his outstanding grades in these two written exams, representing the highest marks in those subjects for British Columbia. He was also awarded the Edward (Ted) Lincoln Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $400 in recognition of his outstanding exam results this past academic year and was also the winner of this year’s D.F. Cook Associate Medal for Excellence, representing the highest combined associate mark in Canada for 2016. He also was awarded his Associate in Music Diploma (ACCM) and officially bestowed the initials, ACCM following his name.
The diploma was a culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to music. Ben’s introduction to music started at age 3 with the Canadian program, “Music For Young Children” (MYC), taught by then-Penticton’s, Jill Heinrichs. Upon completing MYC’s 5-year program, Ben commenced private piano lessons at age 8 with Joseph Berarducci, piano teacher at Kelowna Community Music School.
During the Convocation Ceremony, both Ben and Julia had the privilege of meeting and hearing performances by Frank Mills, one of Canada’s most prolific and successful modern composers, best known for his 1978-9 hit single, Music Box Dancer. Mills was awarded this year’s Conservatory Canada Honourary Licentiate in Music (LCCM).